|The word 'pastel' does not refer to pale colors but to the structure of the sticks of pigment used in making the painting. Pastels are made from the same genuine pigments used in all fine art paints. These colors are ground into powder, mixed with a small amount of binder to make a 'paste' (or pastel). This paste is then rolled into sticks of pure pigment about the size of a piece of chalk and allowed to dry. The colors are applied by stroking onto a conservation-quality support such as paper, sandboard, or pastel canvas. Pastel colors can be soft or brilliant, allowing the artist a wide range of color and spontaneous techniques. Because it goes onto the surface dry, there is no drying time needed, as with oil paintings. Pastel paintings are most often framed under glass to protect the surface from damage. Pastel, after it is framed, is the most permanent of the fine art media, needing less conservation care than work done in oil. Yet, pastel provides as much brilliance, depth and beauty as any fine art painting medium.